Learn to Sail Vacation – ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising Certification
This is a 3-day/2-night private live-aboard course. You will depart for Catalina on the morning of the first day and return to Newport Beach the afternoon of the third day. You will not be sharing the accommodations on the yacht with other students who you do not know.
- Private Course 1 Student: $3525 total. A private course just for you, based on your schedule. Click here to tell us when you would like to start.
- Private Course 2 Students: $3600 total. A private course for you and someone you know, based on your schedule. Click here to tell us when you would like to start.
- Private Course 3 Students: $3850 total. A private course for you and two people who you know, based on your schedule. Click here to tell us when you would like to start.
- Private Course 4 Students: $4100 total. A private course for you and three people who you know, based on your schedule. Click here to tell us when you would like to start.
Information about the Course
In this course, you will learn to safely act as skipper and crew of a sailing vessel in coastal and inland waters, day or night, in varying wind and sea conditions.
For a full list of all 43 topics (knowledge and skills) plus knots that will be covered in this course, click below.
1. Describe true and apparent wind.
2. Describe sailing forces using diagrams. Graphically find the center of effort and center of resistance of sails and keel, respectively.
3. Describe with the aid of diagrams the causes of lee and weather helm and methods of correcting them. Include the reasons for preference of slight weather helm, sail selection (including full sails or reefed sails), mast position and mast rake.
4. Describe sail shapes and sail interactions as needed for different wind strengths and points of sail. Describe the effects on sail shape and sail interactions when adjusting the following:
- Luff tension
- Leech line
- Boom vang
- Backstay tension
- Jib fairleads
- Jib sheet tension
- Downhaul / cunningham
5. Describe how to use a barometer and a thermometer independently and concurrently to assist in predicting weather.
6. Describe cirrus, cirrostratus, altocumulus, stratocumulus, cumulonimbus and cumulus clouds and the weather expected to be associated with each.
7. Describe local weather in relation to thermal winds and prevailing winds.
8. Describe three sources of weather information available in the United States.
9. Describe the proper selection of sails on a given boat for all weather conditions and give reasons for the selection made.
10. Describe appropriate heavy weather precautions and describe how they are carried out, including:
- Sail changes
- Use of special equipment such as safety harness and sea anchor
- Doubling up of gear
- Special checks in areas liable to chafe
- Stowage of equipment above and below decks
- Additional checks on bilge condition
- Special arrangements for towing dinghy/tender (if used)
- Problems of fatigue
- Selection of clothing
- The need of at least two on deck at all times
11. Describe the steps to be taken by skipper and crew for “heaving to” and “lying a-hull.”
12. Describe the methods for rafting at anchor and the possible risks with day and night rafting.
13. Describe how to prevent the dinghy/tender from riding up and bumping the vessel’s hull while anchored at night.
14. Describe procedures for securing a boat overnight with one anchor and stern made fast to a dock or shoreline.
15. Describe two methods of using a second anchor to reduce swinging.
16. Describe four different methods of recovering an anchor that is fouled on the bottom.
17. Describe when and how to use a trip line and an anchor buoy.
18. Describe when and how to set an anchor watch and the responsibilities of the crew on watch.
19. Describe how to:
- Prepare a towing bridle
- Pass a tow to another boat
- Get underway with a tow and which speeds to use
- Avoid fouling the propeller
- Avoid danger of towline parting under stress
- Make proper lookout arrangements during towing
20. List 8 of the 16 International Distress Signals found in Rule 37 of the USCG Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook.
21. Describe how the boat should be handled and what actions should be taken when the following emergencies occur while under sail:
- The boat is dismasted
- The boat runs aground on a lee shore
22. Describe how the boat should be handled and what remedial action should be taken when the following emergencies occur while under power:
- The engine cooling water fails to flow
- The engine fails in a crowded anchorage
- The engine fails in a busy channel
23. State the fuel tank capacity and range of a typical 40-foot cruising sailboat and the factors that could affect its range.
24. State the water tank capacity of a typical 40-foot cruising sailboat and the minimum water requirement per person.
25. Describe the skipper’s responsibilities and action for the following common courtesies and customs:
- Permission to board
- Permission and entitlement to come alongside
- Permission and entitlement to cross adjacent boats when rafted
- Rights of first boat at an anchorage
- Keep clear of boats racing
- Offering assistance to yachtsmen in trouble.
- Flag etiquette: National flag, Courtesy flag, Burgee/house flag, Dipping flag
- Checking of boat’s appearance (shipshape & Bristol fashion, no lines or fenders dangling over side)
- Duty to provide assistance at sea
26. List the documents required and the procedures followed when leaving and entering U.S. territorial waters.
27. Describe appropriate measures for the following common engine problems:
- Stoppage in fuel line
- Burned and defective points
- Fouled spark plug/injector problems
- Carburetor icing (spring and fall sailing)
- Unserviceable starter
28. Describe when and how to carry out an oil change.
29. Describe the minimum pre-season inspection and maintenance for the following:
- Hull (including underwater fittings, electrical systems, painting, antifouling)
- Spars and rigging (including electrolysis)
30. Describe recommended permanent and temporary installation methods of grounding for lightning.
31. List factors to be considered before allowing anyone to go swimming while the boat is at anchor.
32. Describe the danger of overhead power lines.
33. Describe the uses, capabilities and limitations of a portable radar reflector.
Boat Handling Under Sail
34. Perform the duties of skipper and crew on a liveaboard coastal cruise of at least 48 hours, including night sailing.
35. As helmsman, demonstrate the proper techniques of beating, reaching, running, tacking, jibing, heading up, bearing away and luffing in approximately 20 knots of wind.
36. Work to weather to best advantage accounting for wind shifts, tides, current and local geography.
37. Sail a compass course within +/- 10 degrees with sails trimmed.
38. Demonstrate correct methods of towing a dinghy.
39. Demonstrate a person in water (Man Overboard or MOB) recovery maneuver while sailing at night.
40. Anchor, weigh anchor, pick up and cast off moorings while acting as helmsman and/or crew.
41. Demonstrate how to take a sounding using two different methods.
42. Stand a navigation watch during a passage of at least 20 miles by night and 20 miles by day and demonstrate all of the skills elements in ASA 105, Coastal Navigation.
43. (Optional) Demonstrate correct procedures for hoisting, setting, trimming, jibing, dousing and packing a spinnaker.
Prerequisite – ASA 101, 103, 104 and 105
Boat utilized and description – 2016/2019 Beneteau 41.1 or 2015/2017 Beneteau 45
This is an attractive 41 or 45 foot sailing yacht, both designed with 3 cabins and 1 or 2 bathrooms. This is a top of the line cruising model with all of the comforts and features to make learning fun and safe. Features include: Roller furling sails, dodger and bimini, anchor windlass, autopilot, radar, GPS, and color chartplotter.
Boat location – Balboa Marina, Newport Beach, CA
The boat will be docked at the Balboa Marina where our office is located. This marina has some of the best facilities and is one of the best destinations in Southern California. . Some of the features that make this a great location are:
- Ample free parking
- Bathrooms and showers
- Two great restaurants with full bars – SOL Mexican Cocina & Tavern House Kitchen and Bar
- Starbucks across the street
- Gas station and minimart across the street
- Subway across the street
- Kayak and SUP Rentals a block away – Southwind Kayak Center
- Large grocery store, 3 blocks away – Pavilions
- John Wayne (SNA) Airport, 6 miles away
- Several other great restaurants and bars within a mile
- Balboa Island within a mile
- Newport Pier and Balboa Pier within a mile and a half
- Art Museums of Laguna Beach within 10 miles
- Disneyland, 20 miles away
- Numerous hotels and resorts within just a few miles
- The famed Balboa Bay Club, where John Wayne use to hang out, less than a mile from the marina
What’s included –
- ASA 106 textbook “International Marine Book of Sailing”
- Fuel, insurance, and safety gear (including life jackets)
- Mooring fees in Catalina
- Dinghy – 10’ with Honda 2.3HP outboard motor
- High quality bedding (duvet in Fall, Winter and Spring; cotton blanket in Summer) along with fitted sheets and your choice of pillows (exact selection based on availability)
- Comfortable, upgraded mattresses. If you are going to “live” on a boat, you should be comfortable!
- Bath towel, hand towel, beach towel, and dish towels
- Fully equipped galley with refrigerator, sink, oven, stove, pots, pans, dishes, silverware, cooking utensils, glasses, cups and coffee mugs. BBQ outside in the cockpit
- Hot water in the sinks and showers. “No cold showers for this sailor, thank you very much!”
- Stereo with speakers inside the cabin and outside in the cockpit
- The boat is also stocked with 15 disposable items for your convenience. (Click here for a list)
- Cleaning and washing after your stay. It wouldn’t be a vacation if you had to clean up!
Day 1: Meet at our office inside the Balboa Marina at 9am. The address is 201 E. Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92660. There is free parking at our office. You’ll meet a friendly member of our team who will assist you in taking your belongings to your sailing yacht. We will give you an orientation of the boat and the marina, as well as the surrounding area, including locations of stores where you can buy food for your three-day trip to Catalina and Santa Barbara Island. At 9:30am, your sailing instructor will arrive at your boat. You’ll spend the next hour or so discussing the cruising plan, doing safety checks, and going over all of the features and functionality of the vessel. At approximately 10:30am, you’ll depart for Isthmus Cove, Catalina. It is about a 5 to 6 hour journey to Isthmus Cove, during which you’ll have plenty of time to work through 1/3 of the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section. You also might get a chance to spot some marine wildlife like sea lions, dolphins, whales or maybe even the elusive sunfish. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
When you arrive in Catalina, you’ll pick up a mooring and set the outboard motor on the dinghy. You can cook aboard or go ashore for dinner and a little exploring. Spend a peaceful evening on the boat or go try Catalina’s famous drink – the Buffalo Milk—at one of the island’s fun bars
Day 2: If you are ready, this morning might be a good time to take the written test. If not, you can always take the test back at our office on a later day. There are some great hiking trails in Two Harbors. Bring your camera and good shoes. Take this chance to take some scenic pictures of the beautiful coves of Catalina. Oh, and watch out for bison–they’re big and they have horns! As long as you respect their space and distance, it is a wonderful experience to see them in nature. After breakfast, prepare your vessel for the 4 hour sail to Santa Barbara Island, during which time you’ll work through another 1/3 of the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section. Santa Barbara Island is a speck of an Island in the great wide Pacific Ocean… You’ll definitely be using your navigational skills to find the island and the lone anchorage. You’ll most likely double anchor in this little, not-so-protected cove. If it is the sea conditions are calm, and you’re up for adventure, have your captain take you via dinghy to the ladder where you can climb ashore.
The wind-blown landscape of Santa Barbara Island reminds one of the peace that must have reigned in California before millions moved here. There are cliff-hugging trails with beautiful views. There are thousands of sea lions lounging around the bases of rocky cliffs. You can hike from one side of the island to the other within an hour. You and your group might be the only people on the whole island. Just one important caveat: it’s not a good idea to go swimming here because all of the sea lions attract sharks!
The uniqueness of Santa Barbara Island, and the fact that you will probably be the only people out there, makes this the favored destination for our ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising Certification Class. What you will learn in ASA 106 will prepare you to explore this remote island and others in the Channel Islands National Park with more confidence. The Channel Islands National Park is one of the least used National Parks in the United States. The anchorage and the island will feel like yours.
There are no bars, restaurants or stores on Santa Barbara Island. Plan to cook aboard and get to bed early.
Day 3: One of the requirements of the ASA 106 course is to spend approximately 4 hours and 20 miles of sailing at night. Therefore, Day 3 starts at 3am. This will allow you to get the required night sailing in before sunrise, as you head back for the 11 hour sail to Newport Beach. Generally you’ll be sailing downwind and you may get the opportunity to fly the gennaker or Code 0. You’ll have plenty of time to work on your navigational skills, motor the boat under power, and work through 1/3 of the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section. You’ll return to the dock about 3 or 4pm. The captain will then help you remove your belongings for disembarkation. Don’t worry about cleaning the boat! Our crew will be down early the following morning to clean it after your stay with us.